Cleaning Wood Cabinets

Finding the best method to clean and protect wood cabinets can be a challenge. This guide is about cleaning wood cabinets.

Wood Kitchen Cabinets
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Our house has oak cabinets in the kitchen. It is not particle board. There is a strange smell like "old" wood if that makes sense, coming from all the cabinets. It doesn't smell like mildew and I've checked the flooring below and it's fine, no signs of water damage. Any ideas to clean this or get rid of the smell?

By Anna from WI

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We bought a home built in 1978 and had the same problem. Since there were many cabinets the cost of replacement was out of the question. I used a 10% bleach to 80% water spray to clean them out. After letting them dry thoroughly (overnight) I painted them with a high gloss paint no primer needed. I recommend using two coats. The cabinets smell fresh and look nice inside.

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My cabinets have stains, grit, and dirt build up over 30 years. How do I remove it without stripping the cabinets?

By Tammy

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I don't know. That's what I'm trying to find out!

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After reading through this blog, I saw a suggestion for Spray and Wash to clean the cabinets. I love Zout to get stains out and tried that. I sprayed it on, rubbed it in with my fingers, let it sit a little and wiped it clean with a microfiber towel and some water. Yippee!! Worked great! The goop came off and the cabinet looks great. Now some lemon oil and we're all set!

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    How can I clean wood veneer kitchen cabinets?


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    You can use Murphy's Oil Soap.

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    My kitchen cabinets are a natural wood finish and sometimes some stuff spills on to the cabinet doors. When I try to clean them with water they do not fully come clean. These surfaces have a wood polish and I do not want to rub them too hard. I clean them with a wet wipe but am afraid to scrub too hard as the surface does not look the same. Please advise.

    Little Princess from Toronto

    AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Have you tried Murphy's Oil soap?

    ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

    Removes grease and dirt without harming the wood.


    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 4 Tbsp. white vinegar
    • 1 qt. warm water
    • 2 qt. container with lid
    • 2 soft cloths


    Put all of the ingredients in the container and shake it until the contents are mixed. Then to use, dampen a soft cloth with some of the mixture and wipe down the cabinets. Dry them with a clean cloth.

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    Home and Garden Cleaning KitchenMay 16, 2012
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